If you’re needing to save money on groceries, do a quick Google search for “Asian market” in your area.
If you have any near you, you need to check them out!
Last week I remembered reading that you could save a lot on produce at Asian grocery stores. When I heard of this, we lived out in the sticks with limited choices. NOW we live in a city with more choices than anyone could possibly need. I tend to stick to things that are familiar and close but was willing to branch out to save money on healthy food.
I found quite a few stores in my area, perused their ads online, and chose one that wasn’t too far away.
We went to Nam Dae Mun, which is a chain store. It was bigger than Sam’s club. The produce section alone was bigger than my house! We spent a couple of hours there and didn’t even look through half the store!
I was overwhelmed and giddy through our entire time looking at produce. My husband thought I was losing it. The selection and prices were so good. Even the not-so-fabulous prices were still cheaper than what I could get at Walmart or Kroger, and the selection was way better than Aldi.
They had a huge seafood area, but we really just walked through quickly and glanced around (I have a problem with strong smells). Unfortunately, the smell from seafood was still “smellable” in the meat section, but I got used to it quickly.
Meat-wise, they had pretty much anything you could think of, and many things I never would have needed to see in a grocery store, like entire heads of pigs and cows. They had great prices on their meats, too, and I would have loved to buy some of the gorgeous NY strips for $3.99/lb. Unfortunately… budget. Sigh.
We didn’t even look at everything in the meat area (the picture above shows maybe 1/4 of the meat section). We only made it up and down about 3 or 4 aisles of nonperishables, and never even made it over to the dairy, freezer or housewares sections. I could have spent another couple of hours there exploring everything. My husband was less enthusiastic and ready to go.
Here’s some stuff that we got…
- Fuji apples 79c /lb
- Cucumbers 50c each (not a great deal, but they were LARGE and NICE cucumbers!)
- 5 lb. bag of baby spinach $3.99 – 2½ pounds of fresh spinach is A LOT of spinach!
- Grapes for 99c/lb
- Red bell peppers 99c/lb (I bought 4 good-sized peppers for $1.40!)
- Green bell peppers 99c/lb
- Green beans 89c/lb
- Spaghetti squash 99c/lb
- Enoki mushrooms small package for 49c – just because they were cute
- Green onions 4 small bunches for $1
- Green Giant package of 3 Romaine Hearts 99c per package!
- Cabbage, onions, radishes, zucchini, Mexican zucchini (because it was pretty and I wanted to try it), and garlic. All of these prices were a little better than I could find in other stores.
Meat we went home with:
- Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs $1.69/lb
- Chicken wings (pre-cut into useable pieces) $2.29/lb this was a bit of splurge, but cheaper than elsewhere and WAY cheaper than getting them from a restaurant.
- Boston Butt $1.89/lb
- Ground Pork 99c/lb!
Other things we bought:
- Himalayan pink mineral salt 28.8oz bag – $1.99 ($1.11 per pound!)
- Bulk onion powder
- Ground ginger
- FIVE-pound bag of long-grain brown rice $3.49 (70c/lb)
- Organic Tamari Soy Sauce 3.99, 22oz container of sesame seeds $6.49, Mrs. Dash (because I was out and it was there, probably not a great price)
What I’m making with some of this…
- Lots of salad with romaine and spinach and cucumbers and green peppers
- My daughter has already eaten 2 of the red peppers as snacks (she eats them like apples)
- My husband smoked the pork butt Saturday, and I made coleslaw and on-plan barbecue sauce. We have enough left over for at least two more meals.
- Of course, Egg Roll in a Bowl (from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook, page ___) with the ground pork and ¾ of the giant cabbage.
- Hot wings – I made ½ of them on Friday night and froze the other half. I tinkered up a new sauce recipe (see below).
- Chicken fajitas with the boneless thighs, red and green peppers, and onions. I used up all of the chicken, but it made enough to freeze half for another dinner.
- I’m going to try making some homemade breakfast sausage with 1 pound of the ground pork, and I froze the remaining 3 pounds. I wish we had been able to stock up on those; they could have been mixed with ground beef to save money for burgers, meatballs, meatloaf, etc.
- Chocolate Zucchini Cake (from the THM cookbook, page____)
- More Asian-style foods (peppers, green onions, sesame seeds), green beans and cooked spinach for sides.
- Smoothies with raw spinach (really – the bag of spinach is ginormous!)
I hope to be able to explore this place more very soon. There was so much more that I could tell you about, and so much I didn’t even get to see!
Their prices on everyday, name-brand items that you can get anywhere were NOT good! Save those purchases for Walmart.
But if you want to save tons on meat and produce, or find unusual ingredients, an Asian grocery is really the place to look. If you have one near you, you should definitely check it out!
The Hot Wings Sauce Recipe
I love hot wings, but the traditional “Frank’s Red Hot + butter” is too vinegary for me. So I invented this sauce that is sweeter and has more flavor. My husband raved about it, and said they were the best hot wings he’d ever had! He had no constructive criticism, and that’s rare.
Even the teenage boy said it was good. And he doesn’t like anything that isn’t a sandwich.
Wing Sauce Recipe
- PIN this —–>
- 1 large bottle Frank’s Red Hot (original Sauce, not “Wing Sauce”)
- 8 oz can tomato sauce
- ½ stick butter, melted
- 2 TBS super sweet
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ to 1 tsp salt
Combine all ingredients and toss with cooked wings in a large bowl. Serve immediately.
Makes more than enough sauce for 3-4 dozen wings, depending on size.
Yes, I really used that much Super Sweet Blend. I tried 1 TBS and really wasn’t tasting sweetness at all. You can start with 1 TBS and adjust accordingly if you want.